Metroid Prime 4, Friendly Fraud, and Our Dystopian Present

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Delay to anticipated Nintendo sequel wraps up a week riddled with negative news.

This Week in Business is a collection of stats and quotes from our sister site GamesIndustry.biz that sheds light on console sales, new trends, and more. Check back every Friday for a new entry!

The games industry gives, and the games industry taketh away. This week saw the launch of an apparently fantastic remake of Resident Evil 2, but that joy may have been offset by a wave of news that ran the gamut from disappointing to galling to pessimistic to sketchy.

But this column isn't intended to be a downer, so in the interest of sending you off into the weekend on as positive a note as we can muster, we've structured the quotes and stats to lead up front with the harsh stuff. We'll gradually soften the blows until we leave you with a couple reaffirming tidbits to get you through to next week, when Kingdom Hearts 3 launches and I'm afraid to even consider what sort of karmic retribution the industry will exact for that game finally coming out.

QUOTE | "It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress, and development time will be extensive." - Nintendo senior managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi announces that development on Metroid Prime 4 is being rebooted, with original Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios now being added to the project.

QUOTE | "Friendly fraud" - Facebook's internal term for unauthorized credit card charges made by children without their parents' consent. Recently unsealed memos from a class action lawsuit revealed that the company made millions from such charges and devised an effective way to thwart them, but refused to implement it because it would hurt revenues.

QUOTE | "Finally we decide to employ scorched earth. If we're not seeing a single cent, neither should [TheGameWall Studios]. By the holiday week of December, on the advice of our contacts in Steam and our attorneys... the DMCA notice was fired off." - Eximius developer Ammobox explains why it took the unusual step of filing a DMCA takedown notice against its own game after its publishing partner neglected to pay the studio money it was due.

QUOTE | "With Do Not Feed The Monkeys, we talk about lots of different things: surveillance, social media, cameras on the street, and how you give information about yourself all the time, just because you want to sign into a service or whatever. And you don't know exactly what happens with the information you provide." - Fictiorama's Luis Oliván explains how the game's dystopian world seemed a lot more far-fetched when the team started work on it three years ago.

STAT | 1 percent - The decline projected by analyst Pelham Smithers for 2019 worldwide games industry revenues, which he believes would be the first year-over-year drop since 1995. He points to Fortnite fatigue, a lack of console hits, and game approval delays in China as contributing factors.

STAT | 18 percent - The year-over-year increase in US games industry sales in 2018, bringing the total to $43.4 billion according to the NPD Group.

STAT | 6 percent - Percentage of developers who believe Steam deserves its 30 percent cut of game sales on the platform.

Gamedev.world is a new global games conference, set to be free and livestreamed in eight languages. | Gamedev.world

STAT | 16 percent - Percentage of developers who are against unionizing the industry.

QUOTE | "It is an extremely ambitious, but worthwhile achievement. So, we will maintain this goal. Nintendo Switch is our primary sales objective, and we are not considering a successor or a price cut at this time." - Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa rules out a price cut to help the company reach its forecast of 20 million Switches sold for its current fiscal year, which ends March 31.

QUOTE | "There are three structural issues to developer conferences: they have a price, a place, and a language. While some of those help power incredible value, they also limit the perspectives, knowledge, and attendance." - Vlambeer's Rami Ismail explains the idea behind Gamedev.world, a new three-day conference that will be free, livestreamed, and translated and captioned into eight languages.

STAT | $340,000 - The amount of money YouTuber Henry "H.Bomberguy" Brewis raised for trans charity Mermaids in a 60-hour Donkey Kong 64 marathon playthrough that was joined by guests like John Romero (Doom/Quake), Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie, DK64), and U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His original goal was $500.

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